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Sanity on ‘malpractice reform’—from Florida, of all places

Sanity on ‘malpractice reform’—from Florida, of all places

"Tort reform"--read that as "shutting the courthouse door to malpractice victims"--again is rearing its ugly head as a means to reduce healthcare costs, most recently as a plank in the recent GOP healthcare proposals. —Los Angeles Times, 03/20/14 More »

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Nurses join others, including Food & Water Watch, in Carson where the city council is voting tonight on a temporary ban on oil drilling following fracking concerns. —California Nurses Association, 03/18/14 More »

Re: “Fallbrook Healthcare District seeks to financially assist hospital”

Re: “Fallbrook Healthcare District seeks to financially assist hospital”

As registered nurses and Fallbrook Healthcare District residents, red flags went up for us when we read last week’s Village News. How can this be? For those who may not know, our little community hospital is operated by the largest for-profit corporation in America – Community Health Systems (CHS), which made $265 million in profits in 2013, according to Fortune magazine. It seems the healthcare district has already spent some of our money on a consultant’s report and held months of closed-door meetings leading up to the article. —Fallbrok Bonsall Village News, 03/18/14 More »

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

I am a Nebraska citizen from Holt County. I have been speaking out against KXL since my first editorial in April 2009. I drink water from the aquifer, 52 feet down, absolutely pure, no treatment or filtration needed. The first route would have been 2 miles to the west of our private well and I was terrified. I called the EPA and an environmental scientist told me he would be concerned also. My concerns were confirmed when I heard Dr Goeke, a UNL water specialist (who now the pipeline proponents quote as having no concern to the water) testify at a NE legislative hearing Dec 1, 2010 that contaminants could migrate up to 2 miles in our groundwater! —Cindy Myers, RN, 03/17/14 More »

Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Nurses at Marin General Hospital are demanding action to resolve what they say are potentially dangerous patient care issues at the county's largest hospital. Ten nurses voiced their concerns at Tuesday night's meeting of the Marin Healthcare District board. The district board oversees Marin General; but a separate board deals with the hospital's day-to-day operations. Ninety nurses have signed a petition calling on the hospital to respond to a detailed list of issues affecting patient care. The nurses say many of the problems stem from inadequate staffing and continued difficulties utilizing the hospital's new computerized physician order entry system. —Marin Independent Journal, 03/12/14 More »

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

SAFE STAFFING VERDICT: Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. —Trial Magazine, 03/11/14 More »

The Truth About Tar Sands

The Truth About Tar Sands

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the most important press briefings that has happened in a long time: Senator Barbara Boxer-Keystone Pipeline and the Threat to Human Health. The briefing took place at the Dirksen Senate Building and featured Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), health experts, and community leaders dealing with this issue firsthand from around the country and Canada. The main message of this briefing was that people need to know the truth about tar sands and its effects on people’s health. —Denée Reaves’s Blog, 02/28/14 More »

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

Nearly 50 people gathered at Faribault City Hall Wednesday night to learn more about District One Hospital's pending merger with Allina Health. During his presentation, Pribyl reviewed District One's dismal financial status while also showcasing how the hospital is trying to turn itself around by slashing the budget, improving technology and, most notably, merging with Allina. Wednesday's meeting was the second forum held with the public. Pribyl and members of the hospital's Board of Directors also hosted a meeting with Rice County elected officials and have gone to service club meetings like Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus to discuss the same topics. —Faribault Daily News, 02/21/14 More »

Profits Over Patients

Profits Over Patients

Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care in America. The National Nurses United, the largest nurses organization, recently released a study that shows the top 100 most expensive U.S. Hospitals have a charge-to-cost ratio of 765 percent and higher. The worst offender in Ohio is right here in Summit County – Summa Barberton at a mind-numbing 654 percent. It is followed in fourth place by Summa Western Reserve at a whopping 577 percent. What has become obvious is the health-care establishment here and across the country is more concerned with profits than patients. —OpEd in the Akron Beacon Journal Online, 02/21/14 More »

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

National Nurses United executive director RoseAann DeMoro, whose union has organized 7,000 nurses in southern states like Texas and Florida in the past three years, asked why Democratic politicians did not forcefully challenge Corker, who threatened that unionization would destroy jobs, and the right. “Why aren’t Democrats 100 percent for labor?” she asked. “Where are our allies? Who’s standing with us visibly, forcibly? Democrats know the value of organized labor. They might say it sometime.” —In These Times, 02/21/14 More »

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

Workers at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week narrowly rejected joining the United Auto Workers. That was a setback for labor which was looking for an organizing victory in a southern state. The AFL-CIO is holding its winter meetings this week in Houston. The movement says its efforts to organize across the South continue despite the high profile defeat at the VW plant. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, tells of sizable organizing gains her union has made in the South over the last few years. —NPR, 02/19/14 More »

Unions Say No Retreat in South After VW Defeat

Unions Say No Retreat in South After VW Defeat

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the National Nurses United, said her union has organized 7,000 nurses over the past three years in Florida and Texas combined. The frustrations that drove those nurses to organize are no different than gripes that nurses in California had before they joined the union, Ms. DeMoro said. “Nurses are angry everywhere,” she said, calling claims of regional divides “artificial.” The union is currently trying to organize 4,000 nurses in Orlando who work for one of the state’s largest not-for-profit hospital systems, she said, and added that they are receptive. —The Wall Street Journal: Washington Wire, 02/19/14 More »

Bill Nighy and Andrew Lincoln star in video supporting Robin Hood tax

Bill Nighy and Andrew Lincoln star in video supporting Robin Hood tax

David Yates, director of the Harry Potter movies, has enlisted actors Bill Nighy, Clémence Poésy and The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln for a short satirical video calling for a Europe-wide banking transaction tax. Known as the Robin Hood tax, the film coincides with a meeting of European finance ministers this week to discuss the introduction of the tax, which could help ease poverty in developing countries to the tune of £20 billion. —The Independent, 02/18/14 More »

New York Hospitals Set to Move Dialysis Care to Private Chain, Despite Track Record

New York Hospitals Set to Move Dialysis Care to Private Chain, Despite Track Record

Now New York State’s Public Health and Health Planning Council is set to vote Thursday on a deal to turn over dialysis at four of the city’s public hospitals to a for-profit franchise called Big Apple Dialysis despite government data showing the company’s centers did not perform as well as the hospitals themselves. —The New York Times, 02/12/14 More »

Nurses union’s conflict with Community Health Systems heats up

Nurses union’s conflict with Community Health Systems heats up

The 185,000-member National Nurses United labor union last month claimed that management at two California hospitals owned by Franklin-based Community Health Systems wrongfully terminated nurses who also were union members and had been outspoken on labor issues. —Tennessean, 02/10/14 More »

New Report Confirms “Right to Work” Would Harm Missouri’s Middle Class

New Report Confirms “Right to Work” Would Harm Missouri’s Middle Class

Recently, Dr. Michael Kelsay, an economics professor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, conducted a study in which he examined the economic impact that proposed “Right to Work” laws would have on the state of Missouri. His conclusions confirm that “Right to Work” would have a devastating impact on Missouri’s economy and hurt Missouri’s middle class families. —Protect MO Families, 02/10/14 More »

Nurse Says He Was Fired After Speaking Out Against Hospital Merger

Nurse Says He Was Fired After Speaking Out Against Hospital Merger

The California Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Watsonville Hospital for firing 36-year veteran nurse Tim Thomas. It alleges Thomas was terminated after criticizing the merger of Watsonville's Hospital's parent company, Community Health Systems, with Health Management Associates at HMA's Florida shareholder meeting in early January. HMA shareholders approved the $7.6 billion acquisition. —The Real News Network, 02/10/14 More »

Joel Hay: What’s wrong with American hospitals?

Joel Hay: What’s wrong with American hospitals?

In 2010, the Medicare program inspector general reported that the death toll from hospital errors had risen to 180,000 annually just in the Medicare program alone. A more recent study found that as many as 440,000 deaths each year result from hospital errors – equivalent to two daily jumbo jet crashes. —Orange County Register, 02/10/14 More »

Obamacare’s Founding CEO Wants To Bring Single Payer To Massachusetts

Obamacare’s Founding CEO Wants To Bring Single Payer To Massachusetts

On his first day as governor of Massachusetts, Donald Berwick promises to set up a commission tasked with finding a way to bring single payer to the Bay State. It'll have report back to him within a year -- ideally sooner. Having run Medicare and Obamacare in Washington for 17 months, he has concluded that the existing hybrid system is too cumbersome and expensive, and that single payer is the right fix. —Talking Points Memo, 02/07/14 More »

Nurses get advice on patient ratios

Nurses get advice on patient ratios

With contract talks for 2,600 nurses in the Capital district health authority breaking down last week, their union has brought in someone with experience in one of the key issues in dispute. —Herald News, 02/07/14 More »

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